10 Best TUF Seasons Ranked (Must-watch!)

In the ever-evolving world of mixed martial arts, few reality TV shows have had the lasting impact and influence of The Ultimate Fighter.

As we approach 2024, it is essential for MMA enthusiasts to revisit the best TUF seasons that have left an indelible mark on the sport.

From legendary fighters making their mark to intense rivalries and captivating coaching dynamics, these seasons have showcased exceptional talent and provided fans with thrilling fights and unforgettable moments.

Join us as we embark on a journey through the history of TUF, exploring the seasons that continue to captivate audiences and stand the test of time.

Key Takeaways

  • TUF Season 1 was a groundbreaking season that saved the UFC from bankruptcy and featured legendary fighters such as Diego Sanchez and Forrest Griffin.
  • TUF Season 5 introduced memorable characters and personalities among the fighters, and the coaches fought on the finale for the first time.
  • TUF Season 10: Heavyweights had hilarious beef between coaches Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson, along with memorable moments and notable fighters like Brendan Schaub and Kimbo Slice.
  • TUF Season 14 featured intense rivalries, talented finalists, and memorable moments from coaches Michael Bisping and Jason Miller.

TUF Season 1: Diego Sanchez & Forrest Griffin Make History

During TUF Season 1, Diego Sanchez and Forrest Griffin etched their names into the annals of UFC history. This groundbreaking season not only showcased their talent and determination but also had a profound impact on the future of the UFC.

TUF Season 1 was a turning point for the promotion, as it helped boost the UFC’s popularity and prevented bankruptcy. The final fight between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin is widely regarded as one of the most iconic in UFC history, captivating fans and drawing in new viewers.

Behind the scenes, TUF Season 1 also saw drama and rivalries unfold, setting the stage for future seasons.

The success of TUF Season 1 paved the way for the continued success and growth of the UFC.

TUF Season 5: Nate Diaz Takes the Lightweight Division by Storm

One of the most impressive seasons in the history of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) is TUF Season 5, where Nate Diaz emerged as a dominant force in the lightweight division. Diaz’s impact on the lightweight division cannot be overstated. His relentless pressure, exceptional boxing skills, and dangerous ground game made him a formidable opponent for anyone in the division. Diaz’s memorable run on TUF Season 5 showcased his potential and set the stage for his successful UFC career.

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Additionally, TUF Season 14 featured intense rivalries and memorable winners. The intense rivalry between Dustin Neace and Akira Corassani added an extra level of excitement to the season, and the winners, John Dodson and Diego Brandao, proved themselves to be talented fighters who would go on to make a name for themselves in the UFC.

TUF Season 10: Heavyweights Battle It Out With Hilarious Beef

Unquestionably, TUF Season 10 showcased heavyweight fighters battling it out with hilariously entertaining beef between the coaches, Rashad Evans and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. The season not only delivered intense fights, but also memorable moments that had fans laughing out loud. From Rampage giving a fighter the nickname ‘Titties’ to Roy Nelson’s dominant performances, TUF Season 10 was filled with comedic gold. The table below highlights the winners and intense rivalries in TUF Season 14:

WinnersRivalries
John DodsonDustin Neace vs Akira Corassani
Diego BrandaoMichael Bisping vs Jason Miller

TUF Season 14 brought forth talented fighters and a fierce competition between coaches, making it a must-watch for any fan of The Ultimate Fighter.

TUF Season 14: Memorable Winners and Intense Rivalries

While TUF Season 14 showcased memorable winners and intense rivalries, it solidified its status as a must-watch season for fans of The Ultimate Fighter. Here are three reasons why TUF Season 14 stands out:

  1. Memorable coaches and intense rivalries: TUF Season 14 featured coaches Michael Bisping and Jason Miller, who brought their unique personalities and heated rivalry to the show. Their intense clashes and verbal exchanges created a tense atmosphere throughout the season, captivating viewers.
  2. The impact of TUF Season 14 winners on the UFC featherweight and bantamweight divisions: John Dodson, the bantamweight winner, went on to become a top contender in the division, challenging for the title on multiple occasions. Diego Brandao, the featherweight winner, had a successful run in the UFC and showcased his explosive fighting style.
  3. Memorable moments from coaches Michael Bisping and Jason Miller: From Bisping’s trash-talking to Miller’s unpredictable behavior, the coaches provided countless entertaining moments that added an extra layer of excitement to the season.

TUF Season 17: Kelvin Gastelum’s Underdog Victory Shakes Things Up

Kelvin Gastelum’s underdog victory in TUF Season 17 not only shook things up, but also showcased his undeniable talent and determination. Gastelum, a relative unknown at the time, entered the competition as a dark horse. However, he quickly made a name for himself with his impressive performances and relentless drive. His victory had a significant impact on the welterweight division, as it signaled the emergence of a new contender. Gastelum’s success inspired other fighters and proved that anything is possible with hard work and belief in oneself.

Another factor that added to the intensity of TUF Season 17 was the rivalry between the coaches, Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen. Their heated exchanges and competitive spirit had a profound effect on the fighters. The intense atmosphere created by Jones and Sonnen pushed the contestants to their limits and brought out the best in them.

Gastelum’s underdog victory in the midst of this intense rivalry only added to the drama and excitement of the season. It was a testament to his resilience and ability to thrive under pressure.

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TUF Season 21: Gym Vs Gym Drama and Kamaru Usman’s Rise

Amidst the intense gym vs gym drama, TUF Season 21 showcased the remarkable rise of Kamaru Usman. Here are three key aspects of the season:

  1. Kamaru Usman’s rivalry with Colby Covington: TUF Season 21 introduced the world to the heated rivalry between Usman and Covington. Their animosity towards each other was evident both inside and outside the Octagon, creating a compelling narrative that captivated viewers.
  2. The impact of gym vs. gym format on TUF Season 21: The unique gym vs. gym format of Season 21 brought a fresh dynamic to the show. The rivalry between American Top Team (ATT) and the Blackzilians added an extra layer of intensity and competitiveness, making each fight more meaningful and raising the stakes for the fighters.
  3. Kamaru Usman’s rise: Throughout the season, Usman showcased his incredible skills and dominance in the welterweight division. His performances were impressive, displaying his wrestling prowess, striking abilities, and relentless determination. Usman’s success on TUF Season 21 foreshadowed his future as one of the most dominant champions in UFC history.

TUF Season 12: Georges St-Pierre and Josh Koscheck Lead the Way

During TUF Season 12, Georges St-Pierre and Josh Koscheck took charge as head coaches, guiding their respective teams through intense competition and strategic battles. This season was marked by the coaching rivalry between GSP and Koscheck, two highly skilled fighters with contrasting styles. Both coaches showcased their knowledge and expertise in the sport, leading their teams to dominant performances inside the Octagon.

TUF Season 12 also had its fair share of memorable moments, from impressive submissions that showcased the fighters’ skills to shenanigans and antics that added an entertaining element to the show. However, there were also instances of fighters quitting, highlighting the mental and physical challenges that the contestants faced throughout the season.

TUF Season 8: In-House Shenanigans and Unforgettable Moments

The TUF Season 8 showcased in-house shenanigans and unforgettable moments that captivated viewers and added an entertaining element to the show.

Here are three notable highlights from the season:

  1. Junie Browning’s controversial behavior and impact on the season: Junie Browning quickly became one of the most polarizing figures in TUF history. His aggressive and confrontational behavior created tension in the house, leading to heated arguments and physical altercations. Although his actions were highly controversial, they undeniably added drama and excitement to the season.
  2. Memorable moments with Phillipe Nover and his journey on the show: Phillipe Nover, also known as ‘The Filipino Assassin,’ showcased his exceptional skills and determination throughout the season. His technical prowess and impressive performances in the octagon made him a fan favorite. Nover’s journey on the show left a lasting impression as he proved to be a talented fighter and a formidable contender.
  3. Unforgettable moments: TUF Season 8 had its fair share of unforgettable moments. From explosive confrontations to emotional breakdowns, the season delivered a rollercoaster of emotions. Whether it was the intense rivalry between Dave Kaplan and Junie Browning or the heartwarming camaraderie among the fighters, these moments created lasting memories for both the contestants and the viewers.
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TUF Season 8 will always be remembered for its in-house shenanigans and the unforgettable moments it provided.

TUF Season 22: Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber Bring the Heat

One of the most exciting seasons of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) is Season 22, where Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber brought the heat with their banter and intense coaching styles. The clash between McGregor and Faber created an electrifying atmosphere, as they traded jabs and engaged in verbal warfare throughout the season. The audience was treated to a spectacle of wit and charisma, as both coaches showcased their larger-than-life personalities.

Additionally, TUF Season 22 introduced us to the rise of Ryan Hall, who emerged as the dark horse of the season. Hall’s unorthodox grappling style and exceptional ground game were on full display, as he dominated his opponents with a series of impressive submissions. His performances showcased his immense talent and solidified his status as one of the most promising fighters in the lightweight division.

TUF Season 13: Tony Ferguson’s Dominance and Brock Lesnar’s Humor

With Tony Ferguson’s impressive performances and Brock Lesnar’s humorous antics, TUF Season 13 showcased a perfect blend of dominance and entertainment. Here are three key highlights from the season:

  1. Tony Ferguson’s dominant run: Ferguson proved to be a force to be reckoned with in the welterweight division. His exceptional skills and relentless aggression led him to victory, earning him the title of TUF Season 13 winner. Ferguson’s performance demonstrated his potential to become a top contender in the UFC’s welterweight division.
  2. Brock Lesnar’s comedic moments: Lesnar, known for his larger-than-life personality, brought his unique coaching style to TUF Season 13. His humor and unorthodox approach provided a refreshing twist to the season. From playful banter with fellow coaches to engaging with the fighters in a lighthearted manner, Lesnar added an entertaining element to the show.
  3. Engaged coaches and competitive fights: TUF Season 13 featured coaches who were fully invested in their fighters’ success. Both Ferguson and Lesnar were actively involved in their teams’ training and provided valuable guidance. This commitment translated into highly competitive fights, as the contestants pushed themselves to their limits in pursuit of victory.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Ultimate Fighter reality TV show has undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the world of mixed martial arts. From its inaugural season to more recent installments, each season has brought forth exciting fights, intense rivalries, and unforgettable moments. As we reflect on the top TUF seasons ranked for 2024, it is clear that this show continues to captivate audiences and showcase exceptional talent within the MMA world.

With its rich history and thrilling matchups, TUF remains a must-watch for any MMA enthusiast.

Interesting Statistic: The Ultimate Fighter has produced over 50 UFC fighters who have gone on to compete at the highest level in the sport. This statistic highlights the significance of the show in launching the careers of talented fighters and solidifying its place in the MMA landscape.

Mike Williams
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